Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Pence promotes Trump's economic plans in Japan

Pence promotes Trump's economic plans in Japan

Vice President Mike Pence avoided a direct answer when asked if the U.S. used any cyber or electronic technology to sabotage Sunday's North Korean missile test.

"North Korea is the most unsafe and urgent threat to the peace and security" of the region, Pence told U.S. and Japanese Navy personnel as he visited the USS Ronald Regan at a United States naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo.

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has risen this month, with the Trump administration stepping up pressure on North Korea and two major anniversary events in North Korea.

Pence made a surprise visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea Monday where he declared the "era of strategic patience" with North Korea to be over.

Speaking to US and Japanese troops on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier Wednesday, he called North Korea the most urgent and unsafe threat to the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region.

He said that under President Donald Trump, the US will stand up to its enemies with its allies.

Pence said after the meeting that Trump believes it is in America's interest to negotiate economic deals on a bilateral basis.

Pence, who is on a 10-day visit to Asia, declined Wednesday to disclose whether the USA had any role in Pyongyang's missile failure.

The official said Tuesday that Japan still hopes to bring the USA back into a multilateral framework such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But the revelation could be damaging to the United States position in Asia, experts say, as it feeds the idea that President Trump cannot always be taken at his word.

"China is the source of energy, of ideas, of innovation, of expertise", she said, noting 95 of direct investment in North Korea come from China and that the North's exports mainly goes to China.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to expand Japan's defense role and capability in the face of North Korea's threat and China's increasing assertive maritime activity in the East and South China Seas.

However, he also said the USA will "continue to work diligently" with Japan, China and other allies in the region to "bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on" North Korea.

"Japan, though, is unwilling to give up on the TPP, and it's organizing other member nations to move ahead without the U.S". In that time span, North Korea has engaged in at least five missile tests, the most recent of which resulted in failure this past weekend.

North Korea poses the "most unsafe and urgent threat" to the Asia-Pacific region, visiting Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday aboard a US aircraft carrier stationed in Japan.

"As we approach the 100-day mark, the American people are going to be able to look back and see the presidency of Donald Trump and the determination and put in practice all the things that we can", he said.

White House officials say the meetings in Tokyo are meant to forge a framework for future discussions after the US withdrew from a Pacific Rim trade pact.

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